“Remember: Never add salt during the cooking process. Add salt at the end so your meat doesn’t become dry and tough.” – Z Caplansky
Put olive oil in a hot, large, oven-safe, deep dish pan. A lidded cast-iron pot is ideal but not essential. Once oil is just starting to smoke, sear all sides of the meat to golden brown; this will take 2 to 3 minutes per side.
After meat has been seared, add your celery, carrot and onion. If they stick, add a little stock to deglaze the bottom. Use a wooden spoon to release all the bits from the bottom. Begin adding in the rest of your ingredients in order: stock, tomatoes, herbs and spices, etc. It is important not to cut your vegetables too thin when braising so they do not burn during the process.
Cover with lid or aluminum foil and cook low and slow at 300ºF in the oven. As a rule of thumb, cook for one hour for each pound of brisket. For example, if you’re using three pounds of meat, cook for three hours. When finished, meat should be fork tender but not falling apart. Let rest for 30 minutes. Slice 1/2-cm-thick slices against the grain.
Return braising juices to heat and bring to a simmer. Add salt, sugar and apple cider vinegar to taste. Serve this gravy over sliced brisket and enjoy with fresh seasonal vegetables and skin-on garlic mashed potatoes.